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Why You’re Hearing So Much About Blockchain

In the last few years, there’s been lots of hype around the term blockchain. And with the news about cryptocurrency all over the internet, it’s evident we’ll continue to hear about the underlying technology, blockchain, for years to come. Some describe it as being a ‘game changer’ disruptive, revolutionary’ and other fancy terms.

But have you stopped to wonder why the term blockchain has become the topic of discussion for regulators and financial regulators?

What’s Blockchain?

(Photo credit: G2 Crowd)

Blockchain is a decentralized large public database or register where transactional data between two users of the same network are stored in a highly secure, yet verifiable and permanent decentralized system. This means that no party has control over the blockchain technology.

Usually, the storage of a transaction gets organized in cryptographic blocks, organized in a hierarchy. All the subsequent transactions get organized in new blocks forming an endless chain of data blocks that is simply a logical sequence of transactions.

Besides, every single transaction is accompanied by a timestamp, and a cryptologic process keeps it secured. What’s more, all changes get recorded and encrypted in a real-time and audit-proof manner. The tech allows every network member to trace and verify every single transaction they’ve ever made.

Reasons For The Excitement Behind Blockchain

Other than its ability to make data highly accessible to all, Blockchain is also free of fraud and resistant to manipulation.

The blockchain is the technology behind most of the new cryptocurrencies out there as it carefully controls the quality of the currencies available and provides an extremely secure registry of ownership as well as transfer.

Of all the reasons, one that has increased the hype behind the blockchain tech is its applicability in origin and ownership of both the real-world and virtual items. It’s possible to record every purchase possible. Consider a PC owned by Walmart. In this case, the blockchain can record the ownership of that particular machine bearing a serial number to the said owner, in this case, Walmart. It can then transfer the ownership to a consumer upon purchase.

Blockchain technology has also become common because of the top security it guarantees. The moment a single transaction gets certified and saved in one chain of the blocks, it’s no longer possible to modify or tamper with it.

Applications Of Blockchain

All entities, entrepreneurs, companies and even governments, are searching for a database similar to that of the virtual currency, Bitcoin, that’s free of banks’ and governments’ involvement. The tech is believed to be the key to solving the numerous intractable societal issues, some of which the technology industry itself helped create.

Some big names like the World Wide Web creator, Tim Berners-Lee argue that the blockchain could help curb the influence of the big companies on the internet and probably return the internet to its original form.

Besides, blockchain tech avails massive amount of data within the blink of an eye and safely. In the process, it cuts down the expenses by slashing down the operational risk of errors and also easing the info transmission system.

Aside from its applications in finance and insurance, blockchain also plays a critical role in the automation and manufacturing sector. For example, a parent company can communicate information to the suppliers of the various components so they can organize for delivery, payments, and receipts.

What’s more, in the energy, food and beverage sectors, blockchain offers an extra layer of protection for the consumers. Also, it offers the producers and intermediaries more efficiency as they can trace the origin of the materials, transfer the ownership of the goods digitally and securely.

Governments and corporations are now applying the blockchain model to their projects. For instance, the various United Nations Departments have set up blockchain experiments aimed at tackling climatic changes, the distribution of humanitarian aid and the challenges of identity faced by people without states.

Which Are The Major Players In Blockchain Technology?

IBM and Microsoft own the blockchain market. And thanks to its immense power across the various private clouds, and its huge list of consumers across the multiple industries, IBM has a huge standing when it comes to blockchain.

In fact, Juniper Research ranked IBM as a top blockchain company with 40% of the tech executives and other players ranking Big Blue as their preferred blockchain provider. The platform has at least 400 active clients.

Per the same research, Microsoft’s Azure is the closest rival to IBM’s Big Blue commanding 20% of the market with several clients on the platform. Microsoft mainly uses its blockchain tech for dealing with security issues.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is yet another blockchain tech. Google cloud platform comes fourth behind IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon. Google cloud is popular among the small to mid-sized business. If Google is to compete with IBM and other players effectively, it will have to broaden its enterprise footing so it hosts a formidable blockchain service.

The Future Of The Blockchain Technology

Blockchain’s major strength lies in its ability to allow the transmission of data/information in a highly-efficient yet hack and disrupt-proof way. There are plans to make the governments adopt the blockchain-based systems for voting process remains tamperproof.

People create online accounts capable of holding and storing the information securely. In this case, not a single company can hoard, deliberately abuse or lose control of the said information as experienced with Facebook and Equifax.

In the marketing world, it’s expected that blockchain will help qualify the quality and origin of real-time bidding of on ad impressions in the course of media exchanges. Brands can be guaranteed that whenever they purchase impressions, they have the exact properties they seek.

The Bottom Line On The Latest Blockchain Hype

Blockchain technology will continue to dominate the news. And thanks to its tamperproof non-disruptive characteristics, blockchain is the future of technology and presents a world full of opportunities now and many years to come.

IT Xchange is a long-time channel partner of IBM, providing access to its technology to VARs and system integrators around the world. Contact us to learn more.